Cong faces UP 'revaolt'

Criticism over SP support in Rajya Sabha election

After Karti Chidambaram, it was the turn of Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh to ‘revolt’ against the party’s central leadership.

Two senior Congress leaders, including a former Union minister, have openly blasted the party high command for fielding ex-bureaucrat and chairman of National SC/ST Commission P L Punia as its Rajya Sabha nominee from the state.

As the Congress had only 28 MLA in the UP Assembly and could not ensure a win for Punia on its own, it had sought and reportedly received support from the surplus Samajwadi Party legislators, something that has not gone well with Congress leaders here.

“It will be better if the Congress merges with SP,” said senior state Congress leader and MLA from Banda Vivek Singh sarcastically.

“Since we always require the support of the SP, we must merge our party with it so that we do not have to always seek its support,” Singh went on to add.

Though Singh refrained from targetting Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, he did say Rahul had been ‘surrounded by flatterers’.

“Rahul is a capable person but those around him give him wrong advice,” he added.
Singh also alleged that dedicated and loyal party leaders were being ‘ignored’.

Former Union minister Beni Prasad Verma also sharply criticised the central leadership for nominating Punia. “It would have been better if the high command had consulted the local leaders before taking a decision,” he said.

Verma said the state Congress was in a ‘coma’ and was ‘ineffective’. He termed as ‘mere drama’ the demonstrations and agitations by the state Congress leaders.

The ‘revolt’ has sent panic waves among the state Congress leadership and sources said some more legislators too could join hands with Singh.

“If more MLAs join Singh, we may find it difficult to ensure a victory for Punia,” said a senior state leader here while speaking to Deccan Herald.

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